Tinsmithing first became popular in England around 1630. Tin was the poor man’s silver. In the early 1700’s during colonial times, tin became popular in America. Tin was inexpensive, lightweight, easy to clean and durable. Popular uses for tin included lantern covers, fireboxes, and fronts of pie safes.
To complete her Our Heritage Merit Badge, my daughter and my niece made tin punch lanterns. We began with a tin can. Be sure to use a safety can opener – these open the can without creating a sharp edge. After the cans were clean and dried, they used a sharpie to mark their design. Using a sharp nail and a hammer, the girls created holes in the can. We placed a tea light candle in the bottom of each. The light was able to penetrate the holes and created beautiful patterns on the wall.
This project can be used to complete requirement two or six of the Our Heritage badge.
NOTE: The requirements have been greatly simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements.